Agronomic engineers have managed to improve upon one the most important biological process on the planet – photosynthesis. The increased yield in crop could be as much as 15%. Continue reading Feeding of the Nine Billion – The Future of Photosynthesis and Increased Crop Productivity
We live on the ever-changing planetary surface of Earth. Now, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s “Eruptions, Earthquakes, & Emissions” (“E3”) web application reveals a time-lapse animation of the data held on volcanic eruptions and quakes on Earth since 1960. The dynamic Earth at one glance!
Continue reading Fifty Years of Turmoil in One Minute – The Recent Living Respiring Dynamic Earth
It’s cold down there. Icy cold. It’s dark. Pitch black, in fact. And the crushing pressures make the deepest parts of the oceans into some of the most hostile places on our planet. The lowest of the low. The deepest of the deep. Only three human explorers ever made it down there. As a brand new wave of deep-sea exploration begins, we look at the mysterious world where marine scientists will be diving into… Continue reading Sailing the Lower Midnight… – The Uncharted Frontier of Modern Deep-Sea Exploration
It comes at you as a breeze. As a gust. As a gale. Or in the scariest of situations as a hurricane or a tornado with wind speeds of up to 400 kilometres an hour. But what is wind?
Welcome to Jurassic Skye! While dinosaurs might be long dead and no threat to puny humans, the rich fossil record of the Scottish island of Skye – the “Misty Isle” – has provided palaeontologists with important clues to the lives of prehistoric predators and their preys. Continue reading Fantastic Beasts of the “Misty Isle” – Welcome to Jurassic Skye!
A team of scientists have written music that they found most cats respond to a “little like sonic catnip”. They used tempos and melodies originating from purrs and suckling. Continue reading Music for Cats… – Guaranteed to be your Cat’s Jam!
The term ‘Anthropocene’ has entered scientific literature as an expression of the fundamental environmental change caused to planet Earth by humankind, despite not being a formally defined geological unit within the geological time scale. The hunt is on for the “golden spike” – a marker for future researchers to point to in millions of years and identify as the geological start of the Anthropocene epoch. Continue reading Human versus Nature – The Golden Spike of the Anthropocene
A revolution in the treatment and understanding of clinical depression may be looming. And specialists are already talking about one of the strongest discoveries in psychiatry for the past two decades. For the 350 million people who suffer from the illness worldwide, this could potentially mean light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. Continue reading Looking on the Bright Side of Clinical Depression
Be honest. We all have one. What’s your poison? Booze, tobacco, prescription drugs… or something a little more exotic? Cannabis is a controversial plant, regarded by many as a godsend. If Carlsberg made a ‘erb… Continue reading Panacea Nostrum – The Forensic Toxicology of Cannabis
The Evelyn tables are the oldest known anatomical preparations in Europe – a manner of human herbarium – showcased at a scarcely visited location in the very heart of London. Continue reading The Evelyn Tables – Musings on Leoni d’Este’s Human Herbarium
A new study shows that birds and humans ‘talk’ to each other, as they partner up to hunt for honey bees nests together in the forests of Mozambique.
Prior to the discovery of nociceptors in 1906, scientists believed that animals were like mechanical devices that transformed the energy of sensory stimuli into motor responses. Pain is one of those stimulated reactions, but it is unlike other sensations. What is the purpose of pain? Continue reading Ouch!! #$@*!! – We Take a Quick Look at the Neuro-Physics of Pain
Erm…No. Not Mona Lisa! (Rolls eyes.) Think again!! This is LISA – the Lisa Pathfinder satellite, the key element for a grand new project: a space-based gravitational observatory. Continue reading Hunting Ripples in the Fabric of Space-Time – The Trials and Tribulations of LISA
They are made from assemblies of multiple elements fashioned from composite materials, like metals or plastics. And they promise to revolutionise the way we look at things. Continue reading Optically Brilliant Metamaterials
The Network Within Us
Everything is connected. And so it is in the human body too. Everything in the human body is connected. No doubt that all your organs – heart, liver, lungs – work as one to keep you alive and as close as possible to a healthy state. Continue reading We Consider Human Network Physiology and Medicine – The “Body Electric” – Part Deux
The World population has grown to 7 billion, and it is expected to reach over 9 billion by 2050. In the long-term, this growth is unsustainable, as vital resources are becoming increasingly depleted and humanity faces a number of threats to its continued expansion. Many believe that scientists will solve these problems with new technology. Are humans causing the sixth mass extinction? What is the reality? Continue reading In the Midst of the Sixth Mass Extinction…
There is a side of us that is not unique to our own species. Evil. Why? How did it start? The first time. Asking why evil came into existence is a valid question. Evil behaviours are categorised into four distinct groups. Of course, it gets pretty dark. But what is “Evil”? Continue reading Breaking Bad – The Evolutionary Perspective of Evil
There is one essential difference between living things and inanimate clumps of carbon atoms. From an all-physical point of view, the former tend to be so much better at capturing energy from their environment and dissipating that energy as heat. At MIT, Jeremy England derived a mathematical formula that he believes explains this capacity. Continue reading A Theory of Life… The Physics of Cells and Macroscopic Irreversibility
Once a chic resort on the Bay of Naples, Herculaneum was favoured by the finest of Roman’s elite society, who spent the hot Italian summers there… until a catastrophe struck one afternoon in 79 AD. The Villa dei Papiri, excavated centuries later, was found to contain the only library to have survived from the Classical World – a unique cultural treasure, which the eruption of Mount Vesuvius nearly destroyed, and yet preserved all at once. How do you read what is essentially a charred book? Continue reading Between the Lines of the Herculaneum Papyri using X-Ray Imaging Techniques
Plant life is one of Nature’s miracles. Imagine being a plant and almost all you will ever need to keep on striving is sheer sunlight. In green plants, both photosynthesis and aerobic respiration occur. It’s a lot like the way in which the human body breaks down food into fuel that it can store. Essentially, using energy from the Sun, a plant can transform carbon dioxide CO2 and water into glucose and oxygen… Continue reading A Day in the Life of a Plant – Photosynthesis and Phytochemistry
Black Holes Far Ago Have Been Causing a Stir…
You know how when you throw a rock into a pool, that makes ripples in the water? And how Einstein once upon a time predicted that the very mass of stars and planets should warp spacetime? Although we have had a justified inkling that Einstein was right for quite some time, we had never before detected such a phenomenon. Until THIS happened… Continue reading The Discovery of Gravitational Waves – Merging Black Holes and Advanced LIGO
Most of us are familiar with the idea that our bodies need calcium. And calcium is indeed the key element in our bones. Calcium is the most abundant metal in the human body – and those of animals too. The fifth most abundant element on Earth and our World’s chosen architectural building block. Yes, calcium is a metal. Do we really appreciate its true value? Continue reading Yes, Calcium is a Metal!
We, humans, have driven environmental changes on a scale that is unique in Earth’s history. Human-driven biological, chemical and physical changes to the Earth’s system are so great, rapid and distinct that they may characterise an entirely new epoch – The Anthropocene. Continue reading Defining the Anthropocene – What is the Age of Man?
After nearly five hours in space, British astronaut Tim Peake completed his first spacewalk, at 17:31 GMT on Friday 15 January. Intended to last over six hours, the space walk was cut short after his US colleague Tim Kopra reported a water leak in his helmet. Continue reading Name: Tim Peake Job: Space Electrician
Just like buses, it seems. But even rarer and a damn sight more exciting to be honest. Ooohoo!!! Out with your old Science books!! HeL-LOOooo elements 113… 115, 117 and 118!! Continue reading You Wait Ages for a Chemical Element, and Then… BINGO!!